Today in Council, we kicked off Women's History Month by recognizing the great groups empowering women throughout the City as well as young artists whose pieces were chosen to grace City Hall as part of the Expressions of Strength exhibit. With my colleague Councilman Mike Bonin, the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), and all of our wonderful student artists, we came together to stand for equality in our City and our nation.
For me, I have the daily reminder that I provide the one voice for 52% of our city’s women. The women who have served on the Council before me accomplished great things. Women like Estelle Lawton Lindsey, who was the first women elected to the City Council or Rosalind Wyman who was instrumental in bringing the Dodgers to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. And more recently, Joy Picus who was active in developing policies and programs on behalf of working women and their children, and, of course, Wendy Greuel who became the first woman to advance to a mayoral runoff.
As a young girl, I was fortunate to have many women who I could look up to and imagine the possibility of filling their shoes one day. I challenge myself to live up to their legacy and to encourage the next generation of women to lead. We all must work together to encourage young women to succeed.
Today in Los Angeles, we have many incredible leaders that young women can admire. In addition to the women executives, board members and community leaders, this city is full of remarkable women that lead seemingly unremarkable lives. Everyday women are doing their best and taking jobs to care for their families. Look at the women who clean homes, take care of our children, all while trying to provide for their families. Yet these women, like others across the nation are paid 77% of what men make. This is unacceptable. There is no reason that women should have to work harder to provide for their families.
I’m proud that today, my colleagues joined the Commission on the Status of Women to work and collaborate on behalf of girls and women across their Districts. Today we work together to help future generations understand that gender equality is a normal part of society. Our work will hopefully lead to a day in which we will no longer need a month to celebrate women’s accomplishments but come to recognize and understand them as part of our daily lives.